Monday, December 8, 2014

Compensatory and Punitive Damages in a Personal Injury Case

If you have been in an accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your damages from the person who caused you harm.  There are two types of damages you may be able to collect in a personal injury case: compensatory and punitive.

       Compensatory Damages
             -Damages designed to compensate you for your specific injury and loss.  
                 1.  Economic Damages
                       -Also known as Special Damages in a personal injury case. 
                       -Tangible damages whose dollar amount can be concretely measured.
                       -Medical expenses, damage to motor vehicle, property damage,
                        loss of earnings, etc.

                  2. Non-Economic Damages
                       -Also known as General Damages in a personal injury case. 
                       -Intangible damages that can not be quantified.
                       -Pain and suffering, emotional harm, disfigurement, loss of companionship,
                        loss of consortium, etc.

            Punitive Damages
                -Damages designed to punish the person responsible for your injury and loss.
                -Used to deter future conduct of both the person responsible and others.
                -Usually limited in Hawaii to nine or ten times the amount of actual damages.
You should be aware that references to damages may change depending on the type of lawsuit you have.  For example, compensatory damages in a tort case may have a different definition than in a contract case.  To determine the type and amount of damages that you are entitled to for your accident, seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer. 

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